I’m Back in the Trenches Again: Family Catechesis at St. Barnabas Parish

Over the years that I’ve been writing this blog, Catechist’s Journey, I have served as a catechist for different age groups: intermediate (fourth and sixth grade) and junior high (eighth grade). I also have enjoyed sharing my experiences with you! Typically, I have posted my plans for upcoming sessions followed by summaries of what really happened. Eventually, my travel commitments made it too difficult to teach a weekly session, and then, of course, the pandemic […]

Equipping Parents to Share Eucharistic Adoration with Their Children

Several years ago, I was redesigning my First Communion retreat to make it more experiential, especially the portion where I have the parents by themselves for a few moments while the children are participating in another activity. I was contemplating how I could not only teach the parents about, but also allow them to experience the Real Presence of Jesus Christ in the Eucharist, so that they could pass that gift on to their children. […]

Pop-Up Catechesis: Speaking God’s Language Through Rituals

There is a fine line between routine and ritual. A routine is something we do the same way habitually, with little or no thought. Every morning, we mindlessly follow a routine: turn off the alarm, turn on the coffee pot, eat a bowl of cereal, brush our teeth, and so on. A ritual is something we do the same way habitually, with deep, intentional thought. Blessing ourselves with holy water, genuflecting, anointing with oil, walking […]

Family Faith in Summer Choice Board

Our Family Faith in Summer Choice Board can help families remember with gratitude to God all the fun and relaxation summer holds. Give children choices by asking them to select and complete a set number of activities from the board: three-in-a-row, any four, or whatever number you choose. Activities include options that will appeal to multiple learning styles. While the choice board can be used on its own, several activities can be expanded with these […]

Family Love: A Vocation and a Path to Holiness

“Family Love: A Vocation and a Path to Holiness” is the theme Pope Francis chose for the World Meeting of Families that will be held in Rome in 2022. This theme was inspired by the Pope’s exhortations Amoris Laetitia (2016) and Gaudete et Exsultate (2018). It reminds us that family love is a vocation and a way to holiness. We cannot overlook the importance of understanding and sharing the profound and redeeming significance of family […]

Bringing the World Meeting of Families to the Local Parish

On March 19, 2021, upon the fifth anniversary of Amoris Laetitia, the Apostolic Exhortation on the joy and beauty of familial love, Pope Francis declared the start of a Year of the Family, which will conclude on June 26, 2022, with the World Meeting of Families in Rome. One of the goals of this is to help families discover the joy of having a gift to share with the Church and society. Many would love to […]

Connecting Generations Choice Board

Encourage connections between generations with our new choice board that invites children to learn about and develop deeper relationships with their elders. Give children choices by asking them to select and complete a set number of activities from the board: three-in-a-row, any four, or whatever number you choose. Activities include options for children to interview their grandparents, write a song, make a chart, and more. Celebrate a loved elder’s birthday, honor Grandparents Day, or mix […]

Creating an Online Presence in One Week: A Tale of One Chicago Parish

When stay-at-home orders went into effect in mid-March because of the pandemic, many parish religious education programs found themselves facing unimaginable challenges. The main challenge, of course, was how to reach families and children who still had another six weeks of faith formation sessions left in the catechetical year. Many catechetical leaders and catechists all over the country responded with heroic efforts to sustain their programs through virtual contact. One such parish is St. Sylvester, […]

Pop-Up Catechesis: Blessing Your Children and Other Family Rituals

In today’s episode of Pop-Up Catechesis, we look at the practice of blessing your children and other family rituals. Ritual actions have a way of conveying the sacred that words alone are incapable of. Children especially love rituals, because they communicate a sense of comfort and security, which can be particularly important during uncertain times such as this COVID-19 crisis. For more information about the power of rituals and especially rituals in the home, see the […]

Considering a Family Catechesis Approach for Next Year? Start Planning Now!

This is a powerful paragraph from the Catechism about the role of parents in faith formation: Parents have the first responsibility for the education of their children. (CCC 2223) Education in the faith by the parents should begin in the child’s earliest years. This already happens when family members help one another to grow in faith by the witness of a Christian life in keeping with the Gospel. Family catechesis precedes, accompanies, and enriches other […]

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